Please note: This information was current at the time of publication but now may be out of date. This handout provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website.

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Am Fam Physician. 2016;94(9):online

See related article on epididymitis

What is epididymitis?

The epididymis is a tube attached to the back of the testicles that holds the sperm. If you have epididymitis, the epididymis is tender and swollen. Your scrotum may also be red and swollen, usually on one side, and it may hurt to urinate.

What causes it?

In adults, epididymitis is usually caused by bacterial infections. This could be a sexually transmitted infection or caused by bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract.

What should I do if I think I have it?

You should see your doctor right away if you have pain or swelling in your scrotum. Your doctor can test your urine to see if you have an infection.

How is it treated?

Your doctor will decide the best type antibiotic for you depending on your age and other factors. Taking over-the-counter pain medicine or icing your scrotum may help with discomfort.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mayo Clinic

U.S. National Library of Medicine

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